By Corinne Reichert, ZDNet

Nextgen Group and Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks have announced activating the $139 million North West Cable System (NWCS), a 2,100km fibre-optic submarine cable between Darwin and Port Headland.

The subsea cable has been integrated into Nextgen's 17,000km land-based transmission network and Metronode's datacentres across Australia, also connecting to offshore facilities owned by oil and gas providers Shell and INPEX, both of which were equal partners with Nextgen in building out the cable.

“High-speed connectivity has now emerged as a vital component to operate any business regardless of geographical location, be it 200km offshore or in remote and regional Australia,” Nextgen Group CEO David Yuile said.

“The completion of the NWCS is a significant milestone for the Nextgen Group, and will deliver a digital dividend to Australia's resources sector and to regional communities in Australia's North West.”

Shell and INPEX also hailed the cable as a “monopoly breaker”, as the north-western region previously only had access to a single telecommunications carrier.

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